By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Longtime Palisadian Tom Hanks stars in a live-action adaptation of “Pinocchio,” set to be released by Disney+ on September 8.
Walt Disney’s original animated version of the film, released in 1940, is based on the 1883 Italian book “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” by Carlo Collodi.
For those unfamiliar with the tale, the premise is a wooden puppet named Pinocchio is brought to life, seeking out adventure while striving to be “a real boy.”
Hanks will take on the role of Geppetto, described as a “kindhearted but lonely Italian woodcarver and toymaker who builds and raises Pinocchio as if he were his real son.”
“The idea of taking on a treasured classic as Disney’s ‘Pinocchio,’ it’s an incredibly rich opportunity to revisit and go deeper into this great masterpiece,” Hanks shared in a behind-the-scenes look at the film.
In this version, Cynthia Erivo stars as The Blue Fairy, who is the one that brings Pinocchio to life with the promise of turning him into a real boy if he remains brave, truthful and unselfish. Pinocchio is voiced by Ben Ainsworth, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jiminy Cricket, who acts as Pinicchio’s conscience.
Other starring roles include Keegan-Michael Key, Giuseppe Battiston and Luke Evans.
The film is produced by Robert Zemeckis, Derek Hogue, Andrew Milano and Chris Weitz. Zemeckis is also the director.
This version of “Pinocchio” was reportedly first announced in April 2015, with Hanks rejoining the project in 2020, after a previous departure in 2018, after Zemeckis joined. The two have worked together on previous projects, including “Forrest Gump,” “Cast Away” and “The Polar Express.”
“Bob is one of these filmmakers, he takes you to places beyond your expectations,” Hanks shared of working with Zemeckis.
This film is not to be confused with Guillermo del Toro’s stop-motion animated version of “Pinocchio,” which is slated to have its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival on October 15, followed by a release in select theaters in November before being released for streaming on Netflix on December 9.
Del Toro’s version was described by IMDb as “a darker version of the classic children’s fairy tale,” starring Gregory Mann, Ewan McGregor and Ron Perlman.
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